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Oh dear...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Rusty Chainsaw, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. I have played fingerstyle ever since I first picked up the bass 15 years ago, and have been a real fingerstyle zealot in the past, y'know, dismissing all pick players as guitarist wannabes or somehow not "real" bass players. I even had a letter to that effect published in the old UK "Bassist" magazine!


    As of late, all I want to do is play pickstyle. :eek:

    I've always dabbled with it as very much a secondary technique, but as of late I've got rather good at it and am really liking the sound (maybe that's something to do with my Spectors though... :D ). My fingerstyle and slap chops seem to be going by the wayside as of late in favour of the pick! Aaargh! Help! :cool:

    I guess I've been wrong for all these years...!

    Russ :bassist:
  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I was the same way. Soley for the reason that Cliff Burton played with his fingers and I thought he was the greatest bass player ever, therefore only by playing fingerstyle could one even attempt to match his greatness....

    Obviously I've grown up since then. I still prefer fingers, but for some of my music I use a pick exclusively. Its all about what tone you want, there really is no way to make fingers sound like a pick or vice versa.
  3. NoisemakerD-Lux


    Oct 12, 2004
    That's pretty funny, man.

    Anyway, picks are awesome if you know how to use them. Not many bassists do. And it's a real shame because they allow one to do things that are pretty much impossible (or, at the very least, very impractical and very uncomfortable) with the fingers. I suppose it's the other way around too, but you get the point.

    I also think that the reason why a perception still persists that bass is mainly a fingerstyle instrument is because a lot of the "older" greats have grown up listening to double-bass players and have adopted their techniques. I guarantee you that with time, and with each new generation of players, the margin will keep shifting towards the pick until the ratio is pretty much even. Guitar players play with both pick and fingers. Why not bassists?

    You and Tash, who replied above me, are Metal people so you must have listened to Joey DeMaio (Manowar). He's a pick player and a really great bassist. Imagine playing his stuff with the fingers. It would be one major pain in the ass, if you ask me.

    People like Anthony Jackson, Steve Swallow, Roger Glover, and Chris Squire have done pretty well with the pick over the years. Oteil Burbridge has been using a pick quiet a lot with the Allman Brothers. If you go to the Yamaha page, there's a picture of Billy Sheehan playing his acoustic bass with a pick.

    Long live the pick, I say! :)
  4. Gov_E


    Feb 10, 2005
    dont forget Phil Lesh and Mike Gordon.
  5. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I'd guess that anti-pick prejudice is partly brought about by the fact that many boring bass players you see in many boring rock bands playing boring bass lines are playing them with a pick...

    i'm surprised it's taken you 15 years to hear someone play sufficiently impressive bass with a pick to convince you it's possible.. there are some great pick players out there (my vote is for Scott Thunes)
  6. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    ya! scott thunes with frank zappa playing "diseases of the band"
    he's a good example :cool:
  7. I started playing with a pick mostly because I didn't have an amp, so to play loud enough I used a pick. That was the way I learned, that's the way I play, and it works for what I play and who I play with. I use my fingers situationally- but I'm not as good without a pick. You don't need an excuse to justify your preference to anyone, and it doesn't make you any less of a bass player.
  8. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Actually a friend of mine in High School had a live Manowar video where Joey does a version of "Flight of the Bumblebee" with his fingers...he didn't use a pick at any point during that performance at least.
  9. NoisemakerD-Lux


    Oct 12, 2004
    I don't know what performance you're talking about and I won't question it, but Joey DeMaio is a pick player. If you go to the official Manowar website, you can even buy his custom pick there.

    As for the Bumblebee, it is easiest to play with the 4-finger approach (pinky, ring, middle, index)... just the way the notes fall and the speed & lenght of the whole thing.